Dating game shows are television game shows that incorporate a dating system in the form of a game with clear rules.
Human matchmaking is involved only in selecting the game's contestants, who are usually selected more for the amusement value than any concern for their happiness or compatibility.
The audience sees only the game; an important feature of all dating game shows is that the contestants have little or no previous knowledge of each other, and are exposed to each other only through the game, which may include viewing a photograph or at least knowing the basic criteria for participation (typically participants are not already married).
Some gay and straight romances have been sparked on the other reality game shows, suggesting that they too may really be "dating shows" in disguise.
But any social situation has the potential to result in romance, especially work.
The first gay version of these more realistic shows to receive mainstream attention was Boy Meets Boy, with a format similar to that of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette.
The show featured an unusual plot twist: eight of the men from the show's original dating pool were actually heterosexual men pretending to be homosexual; one important part of the plot was whether the gay contestant would be able to recognize the heterosexual men.
The various suitors were able to describe their rivals in uncomplimentary ways, which made the show work well as a general devolution of dignity.